Off topic: Humor: Tech Support Stories
Thread poster: jmf (X)

jmf (X)  Identity Verified
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 23, 2003

Take heart, anyone among you who believes you are technologically challenged, you \"ain\'t seen nuthin\'\" yet. This is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article:

1. Compaq is considering changing the command \"Press Any Key\" to \"Press Return Key\" because of the flood of calls asking where the \"Any\" key is.

2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.

3. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn\'t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the \"Send\" key.

4. Yet another, Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water! and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.

5. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was \"Bad and an invalid.\" The tech explained that the computer\'s \"bad command\" and \"invalid\" responses shouldn\'t be taken personally.

6. A confused caller to IBM was having trouble printing documents. He told the technician that the computer had said it couldn\'t find the printer. The user had also tried turning the computer screen to face the printer, but that his computer still couldn\'t \"see\" the printer.

7. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn\'t get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, \"I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens.\" The \"foot pedal\" turned out to be the computer\'s mouse.

8. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand new computer wouldn\'t work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power button, she asked, \"What power button?\"

9. Another IBM customer had trouble installing software and rang for support. \"I put in the first disk, and that was OK. It said to put in the second disk, and had some problems with the disk. When it said to put in the third disk, I couldn\'t even fit it in...\" The user hadn\'t realized that \"Insert Disk 2\" implied to remove Disk 1 first.

10. A story from a Novel NetWire SysOp:

CALLER: \"Hello, is this Tech Support?\"

TECH: \"Yes, it is. How may I help you?\"

CALLER: \"The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?\"

TECH: \"I\'m sorry, but did you say a cup holder?\"

CALLER: \"Yes, it\'s attached to the front of my computer.\"

TECH: \"Please excuse me. If I seem a bit stumped, it\'s because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?\"

CALLER: \"It came with my computer. I don\'t know anything about a promotional. It just has 4X on it.\" At this point, the Tech Rep had to mute the caller because he couldn\'t stand it. He was laughing too hard. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder and snapped it off the drive.

11. A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was \"running it under windows.\" The woman responded, \"No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The girl sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window and her printer is working fine.\"

12. And last but not least:

TECH SUPPORT: \"Okay Bob, let\'s press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter \"P\" to bring up the Program Manager.\"

CUSTOMER: \"I don\'t have a P.\"

TECH SUPPORT: \"On your keyboard, Bob.\"

CUSTOMER: \"What do you mean?\" TECH SUPPORT: \"P, on your keyboard, Bob.\"

CUSTOMER: \"I\'m not going to do that!\"


Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:58
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
The real idiot's guide to tech support Jan 23, 2003

These stories are hilarious, especially because I have no reason to believe they are fake! I used to feel insulted by the kind of troubleshooting chapter that kicked off with the instruction \"make sure the device is plugged in...\" What did these people think? That users were what, idiots?

Well, maybe many of them are not \"idiots,\" but \"technically challenged...\" icon_smile.gif


Local time: 23:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
I swear it's true Jan 24, 2003

I can guarantee these are true stories, because once I got to translate these instructions:

1. Detach decal from protective paper.

2. Paste decal into spaceboard of your keyboard (long rectangle at the bottom)

The product was, of corse, a decal which simply read: \"ANY\".

And it was a serious product, not a joke!!!



TService (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
English to German
More true stories... Jan 24, 2003

1) Some years ago a customer called me because his keyboard didn\'t work. I asked all the common questions with no success. The machine was plugged in and turned on, just didn\'t respond to the keyboard, which was plugged in, too.

When I arrived at the customer all I had to do was turning the key that locked the keyboard. I promised not to tell anyone about that. icon_wink.gif

2) I got a call from a German charity organization. Even before the woman at the other end of the line said that her computer simply stopped working - even after switching it off and on again, I heard a constant beep-beep-beep from the background.

I made my way to her office, heard that beep-beep-beep even before entering the room, went in, looked at the computer - and lifted a huge ring binder from the keyboard. The beeping stopped at once.

The women had seen a message on the screen, saying: \"You may create a folder now.\", which in German reads: \"Sie können jetzt einen Ordner anlegen.\"

\"Ordner\" means \"folder\",

\"anlegen\" means \"lay down\".

So she simply took a file binder from the shelf and placed it onto the keyboard.

3) That story about a user trying to fit more than one disk into the disk drive is true. A customer of mine tried that, too.

4) You remember the good old 5,25\" floppy disks ?

A customer called because he just couldn\'t remember how to orientate that type of disk prior to inserting it into the drive. I told him to place his thumb onto the disk\'s label (which is on the upper left of the disk) and insert it into the drive. \"Ah, that\'s easy ! Thank you !\"

Two days later the same customer called, telling me of a defective disk drive.

I went to see him and discovered the truth: He wrote the disk\'s content on that label, needed more space, placed a second label on the back of the disk, continued writing, placed his thumb onto the new label - and inserted the disk - wrongly orientated - into the drive.

Yes, such things really happen... icon_wink.gif


Arthur Borges
Local time: 13:58
+ ...
We all experience the present in function of our individual past Jan 24, 2003

With six billion, 200+ countries and perhaps tens of thousands of ethnic groupings, it is not surprising to me as a second-language teacher of English, that non-native speakers will read \"ANY\" as the name of a specific key.

Nor is it surprizing that someone \"upgrading\" from grandma\'s sewing machine should take the mouse for a foot pedal.

They aren\'t stupid -- they simply have radically different worldviews.

Moreover, BECAUSE I born into a world of electrical appliances, I automatically ASSUME everything is ALWAYS plugged in. So the LAST thing I check when I troubleshoot is the plugs. This has cost me hours of wasted time and heaps of unnecessary frustration.

And I notice that when a techie comes in to fix a widget, the first thing he does is check that everything is properly plugged in.

Let us be more forgiving!


Kay Fisher (X)
German to English
+ ...
try this... Jan 24, 2003 for a few more laughs.

I love these things.



Local time: 06:58
English to French
+ ...
Thank you Jan 25, 2003

for the links, I love these things too.



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